Del. Gov. John Carney endorses former cabinet member Eugene Young in U.S. House race against popular state senator

Eugene Young served as director of the Delaware State Housing Authority before stepping down earlier this month to focus on campaigning.

Listen :57
Eugene Young speaking at a podium

Democratic candidate for Delaware's U.S. House seat Eugene Young. (Campaign website)

This story was supported by a statehouse coverage grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

What questions do you have about the 2024 elections? What major issues do you want candidates to address? Let us know.

Del. Gov. John Carney endorsed Eugene Young in the Democratic primary for the state’s at-large U.S. House seat Wednesday. The seat is being vacated by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, who is campaigning for the seat held for more than 20 years by U.S. Senator Tom Carper. Carper is not running for re-election.

Young is the former director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, appointed by Carney in May 2021. He stepped down earlier this month to focus on his campaign. He is running head-to-head against State Sen. Sarah McBride after Treasurer Colleen Davis withdrew from the race due to family and personal health concerns.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor
Eugene Young with Gov. John Carney
File – Eugene Young (right) of the Delaware State Housing Authority tours a home with Gov. John Carney. (State of Delaware)

A news release from Young’s campaign announcing the endorsement highlighted Carney’s own experience in the House, serving as Delaware’s congressman from 2011 to 2017.

“Having served as a member of Congress myself, I know Eugene is the type of leader we need,” Carney said in a statement. “Someone who will roll up his sleeves and work together to find real solutions for the people of Delaware.”

Young said he asked Carney for the endorsement and expects the outgoing governor to campaign with him later in the year. He was grateful for the endorsement and the trust Carney placed in him by appointing him to head the state agency.

“When it comes to housing, we were able to do a lot of great things, such as invest the most money into housing this state has ever seen: $122 million to programs that help people keep people in their homes, impacting tens of thousands of individuals,” he said. “This is why I’m just so honored. That the governor of our state sees my work and sees my background, and to be willing to endorse, that’s what makes me so thankful.”

Carney has expressed serious interest in running for mayor of the city of Wilmington after Mayor Mike Purzycki announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. Young came in second among eight people in a 2016 Democratic primary for Wilmington’s mayor, falling just 146 votes short. Purzycki won that race.

Young previously served as the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and co-founded Network Delaware.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Electing Young or McBride would be history-making. Young would be the first Black man to represent the state in Congress, while McBride would be the first transgender person to serve in federal office. She was elected into the legislature in 2020 and has racked up dozens of endorsements, including from statewide elected officials, advocacy groups and unions.

The state primary election is Sept. 10.

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal